In an exclusive interview with Today, Ellen DeGeneres opened up about her decision to end the show. She has cleared that the toxic environment and sexual misconduct controversies are not the reason behind her decision to bring the show to an end.
Ellen told Today’s Savannah Guthrie, “If it was why I was quitting, I would not have come back this year. I really did think about not coming back, because it was devastating. It started with attacks on me and attacking everything that I stand for and believe in and built my career around… I am a kind person. I am a person who likes to make people happy.”
Ellen also addressed the allegations saying she didn’t know what was going on. She said that she had “no idea” about such problems and only got to know about them through the media. Ellen said, “I never saw anything that would even point to that.”
Ellen added, “I don’t know how I could have known when there’s 225 employees here and there are a lot of different buildings. Unless I literally stayed here until that last person goes home at night.
DeGeneres said, “It’s my name on the show, so clearly it affects me, and I have to be the one to stand up and say this can’t be tolerated. But I do wish somebody would have come to me and said that ‘hey, something’s going on that you should know about’.”
When Guthrie asked Ellen if she felt she was being canceled, Ellen said she didn’t understand it, and it was too orchestrated. She said, “It was too coordinated. People get picked on, but four months straight for me, and to read in the press about the toxic work environment, when all I have ever heard from every guest that comes on the show is what a happy atmosphere… and happy place it is.”
Talking about struggling again in her career after she had suffered when she came out as gay, Ellen suggested it could have something to do with her gender and that it feel “very misogynistic”.
Ellen also said that those allegations impacted her negatively. She said, “When something is coming back at me that I know is not true, I guess I could take one or two of those shots. But four months in a row took a toll on me.”
Guthrie also asked Ellen what she was proud of, to which she answered, “I’m most proud of going 19 years on this show. This is an accomplishment. I’m proud of the kind of show we do. I’m proud that we are funny, helpful to people and that we represent acts of kindness.
Other than that, Ellen also became emotional while announcing the news officially to the viewers. She said with watery eyes, “Season 19 is going to be my last season… This show has been the greatest experience of my life… and I owe it all to you… Thank you.”